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Herbaria go virtual!

26. 11. 2018, 15:27 by Maren Friedrich

Eleven scholars from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan  and Turkmenistan received a one week-training by the CAViF-Project in November on how to catalogue herbarium specimens on the internet. The aim is to make Central Asia’s valuable botanical collections—which are currently available only in herbaria and mostly located in respective capitals— accessible to the wider public via an internet database.
Among the specimens currently stored in the herbaria are findings from research expeditions to Central Asia dating back almost 200 years. These include herbarium specimens collected by such German botanists as Schrenk, Lehmann or Riegel. The key resource fort he current digitalistion is a database developed at the University of Greifswald, which already provides online access to information about the flora of Mongolia. Over the medium term, data about specimens stored in the herbaria are expected to be published for all plant species occurring in the region.
The CADI-project supports the development of the digital herbaria in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, while simultaneously supporting botanists from Uzbekistan through a project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Both projects are being effectuated by the Michael Succow Foundation in cooperation with the University of Greifswald.

Engaged in Turkmenistan

18. 10. 2018, 13:08 by NK

Founder and nature conservationist Michael Succow attended international conference of the 50th anniversary of Nature Conservation Society of Turkmenistan and the 40th anniversary of the XIV General Assembly of IUCN (1978) at Ashgabat in the middle of October. It gathered organisations like IUCN, WWF and UNDP which had been engaged in nature conservation in Turkmenistan. For more than 10 years the Michael Succow Foundation is working on projects of protected area development and sustainable use in this challenging environment. '
Just recently the Central Asia Desert Initiative (CADI) was approved by the turkmen government. The foundation implemented a project on Ecosystem-based land and forest management for the adaptation to climate change along the Amudarya River. The foundation also lead the elaboration of the Scientific justification of a national park.


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Protected area in the Aral Sea

15. 10. 2018, 10:02 by Maren Friedrich

Barsakelmes Strict Protected Area used to be an island in Aral Sea. Since the lake has almost deceased it is no longer an island. Native plant communities disappeared, most of fauna species are under severe thread, IUCN threatened ungulates such as Saigas, Kulans and Goitered Gazelles lost their habitat. The disaearance of fresh water sources lead to a dramatic decline of their populations.

Together with the CADI national project partner ACBK, the Barsakelmes Zapovednik administration, the policy platform International Fund for Safeing the Aral Sea, scientists and NGOs the Michael Succow Foundation conducted a 2day ecosystem diagnostic mission, followed by an intense 4day participatory Open Standards workshop. Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation support protected area managers in systematic planning, implementing, and monitoring their conservation efforts and to adapt and improve it systematically [link -].

The workshop layed out a sound and comprehensive basis on the threads, stresses and contributing factors at the conservation targets of the Protected Area. The workshop participants, facilitated by Michael Succow Foundation, identified strategies to tackle or minimize threads and stresses.


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28. 9. 2018, 12:33 by NK

An orientation workshop, dedicated to IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), took place in Astana on 20 September. The event was organized by CADI in order to support international cooperation for nature conservation in Central Asia. Major goal of the workshop was to strengthen cooperation in nature protection among Central Asian countries and to introduce structure and processes of IPBES. It became clear, that joining Central Asian countries to the platform would allow experts from the relevant governmental agencies, scientific institutions and NGO’s to increase their capacity as well as influence on an international agenda with the consideration of regional priorities. Decision-makers from the governmental agencies, as well as representatives of scientific, non-governmental and International Organizations from Kazakhstan took part at the event.